Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Trump Administration Rolls Back Michelle Obama's School Lunch Program


The Trump administration announced on Monday that it will 'Make School Meals Great Again' by rolling back former First Lady Michelle Obama's signature school lunch and breakfast programs.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide greater flexibility in nutrition requirements for school meal programs in order to make food choices both healthful and appealing to students.


Perdue signed a proclamation which begins the process of restoring local control of guidelines on whole grains, sodium, and milk.

“This announcement is the result of years of feedback from students, schools, and food service experts about the challenges they are facing in meeting the final regulations for school meals,” Perdue said.  “If kids aren't eating the food, and it’s ending up in the trash, they aren't getting any nutrition – thus undermining the intent of the program.”

Schools have been facing increasing fiscal burdens as they attempt to adhere to existing, stringent nutrition requirements.  According to USDA figures, school food requirements cost school districts and states an additional $1.22 billion in Fiscal Year 2015.

At the same time costs are going up, most states are reporting to the USDA that they’ve seen a decrease in student participation in school lunches, as nation-wide about one million students choose not to have a school lunch each day.  This impacts schools in two ways: The decline in school lunch participation means reduced revenue to schools while they simultaneously are encountering increased costs.

Image credit: USDA